Holocaust awareness event to pay tribute to liberators of Belsen camp

Today is the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe (VE) Day, first celebrated on 8 May 1945, which marks the formal acceptance by the Allies of World War II of Nazi Germany's unconditional surrender of its armed forces.

The liberation of the Nazi death camp Belsen (also known as Bergen-Belsen) in April 1945 by the British Army, which included local soldiers, will be explored at a free public lecture on Wednesday 13 May.

The event, which is hosted by the Stanley Burton Centre for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, will see the Centre’s director, Dr Alexander Korb, discuss the significance of the Belsen camp —in which 70,000 individuals died— in the Holocaust, while Professor Aubrey Newman, the Centre's founder, will pay tribute to those who liberated Belsen, including local soldiers, who were brought in to help rehabilitate survivors of the Holocaust.

When the British Army took over Belsen in April 1945 the camp contained over 60,000 inmates. Some 37,000 people had died in the months before liberation, including Anne and Margot Frank, and unburied bodies lay all around the camp. Many of those who were still alive could hardly move out of their over-crowded bunks and 13,000 more were to die over the following ten weeks.

The free public lecture, titled ‘Belsen, 1945’, is part of the University's Holocaust Awareness Lecture Series and takes place on Wednesday 13 May between 7.00pm – 9:00pm in the Fraser Noble Building.